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Moment of Remembrance Ceremony in Belleville Marks 9/11 Anniversary
BELLEVILLE, IL, (, September 7, 2011 - This year marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that occurred on September 11, 2001. To pay tribute to those who lost their lives in these attacks, the United States Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 237asking all Americans throughout the nation to stop for one minute to remember those whose lives were lost and to demonstrate the hope and perseverance Americans have shown since that fateful day.

On Sunday, September 11, 2011, the public is invited to participate in a Moment of Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the Committee for the September 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois in cooperation with the City of Belleville. The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the front lawn of Belleville's Fire Administration Office at 1125 So. Illinois Street.

Belleville's Moment of Remembrance Ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will include participation by City Police and Fire Department personnel, the reading of a resolution by Mayor Mark W. Eckert, an honor guard, and displays of the American flag.

The ceremony will conclude with a Moment of Remembrance from 12:00 noon to 12:01 pm (CDT) when individuals, cities and towns, firehouses, police stations, businesses, churches, schools and other institutions across the nation are asked to sound sirens and rings bells. The sirens and bells will be a signal for individuals across the nation to simultaneously Stop & Remember the lives that were lost in the tragedy that has impacted all of our lives.

Parking will be available behind the Fire Administration Building at 1125 So. Illinois Street.

Soon after the attacks of 9/11, efforts were made throughout the United States and across the world to memorialize the victims, offer expressions of solidarity and tribute, and document the impact of this historic event.

The City of Belleville took possession of the artifact, weighing approximately 7,100 lbs for the creation of the September 11th Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois for future public viewing at Belleville's Fire Department Administration Office, located at Illinois Rt. 159 & Illinois Rt. 15.

The Memorial Walkway will tell the story of what happened on 9/11, including the timeline of events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and of Flight 93. For more information, visit

IDVA to Host 'Helping Our Hometown Heroes' Veterans Benefits Fair
SPRINGFIELD, IL, (, September 4, 2011 - The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) is hosting a free Helping Our Hometown Heroes benefits fair for veterans on Friday, September 16th at the Lawrenceville VFW Ambraw Post 2244 at 511 12th Street in Lawrenceville, Ill. The fair will bring federal, state and local agencies and organizations together in one location.

"Helping Our Hometown Heroes is a great resource for veterans to learn about and tap into all the benefits they have earned and are entitled to receive," said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. "We appreciate all of the agencies that support these events and are working hard to serve veterans and their families in this community."

Many federal, state and local agencies and organizations throughout the region will attend the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Among the participating people and organizations are State Senator Dale Righter, State Representative Roger Eddy, State Representative Tim Johnson, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Army National Guard, Lawrenceville VFW, Lawrenceville Memorial Hospital, DORS, Southern Illinois Legal Assistance, Embarras River Basin Agency, Wabash Valley College, Old National Bank, Lawrence County Supervisor of Assessments, and the VA Health Clinic (Terra Haute, Ind.).

Extra Help Among Nation's Fastest Growing Companies
MARION, IL, (, August 28, 2011 - Extra Help, Inc., a St. Louis area employment and workforce services firm, has made Inc. Magazine's prestigious 500/5000 List for 2011. The list profiled the top 500 and 5,000 privately held, employee-based firms in the United States lead by independent entrepreneurs.

"We are honored to be recognized by such a respected organization and to be among such remarkable company," said Teresa Katubig, president, chief executive officer and founder of the company. The company has offices in Edwardsville and Marion, Ill., and downtown St. Louis.

The magazine publishes the annual list of the 500 and 5000 fastest-growing companies among nearly 7 million private firms in the United States. Privately held, U.S. companies make the list, based on percentage growth when comparing 2007 to 2010.

Extra Help ranked 89 in growth among human resources industries with a three-year growth rate of 58 percent. The company's 2010 revenue was $12.9 million and sales may exceed $20 million in 2011. The company also ranked 3,271 among 5,000 firms listed.

In the past, the list has included Microsoft, Timberland and Vizio. Inclusion on the list was the first national recognition for some of the most successful companies in the country.

A certified public accountant, Katubig, 46, started Extra Help in 1995 as a temporary staffing agency but her focus on serving clients in demanding growth industries improve workforce efficiency lead to more opportunity for her own firm. Extra Help has strategically broadened by adding services such as direct hiring, contingency staffing, workforce tools, and payroll services that help clients improve the efficiency of their staff.

Katubig began the company in Johnson City, Illinois, across the street from a Dairy Queen, armed only with a CPA certification and management experience at McDonald's restaurants.

"I know what it's like to start, grow and run a company," Katubig said. "That understanding of the ins and outs of business helps me and my staff partner with our clients to improve the efficiency to their workforce. And, that efficiency is a key to helping companies not just survive but thrive in this economy."

The company now has 31 employees and was recognized in 2010 by the St. Louis Business Journal as the 17th largest women-owned business in the St. Louis area. The company and Katubig have also been recognized by other business, civic and other charitable organizations.

The company received the 2008 "Good Neighbor of the Year Award" for its donation of time and money to charitable organizations in Southern Illinois. In April, Katubig was honored as one of the St. Louis region's outstanding female business leaders as an award recipient at the Winning Women's 4th Annual "Women Influencing Now" Regional Economic Development Award Dinner.

Extra Help's listing will appear in the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 online at on Aug. 24, and in the magazine's September issue. Honorees are invited to the 30th Annual Inc. 500/5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony on Sept. 22-24 in Washington, D.C.

Swansea MetroLink Station Bike Trail Opens
SWANSEA, IL, (, August 21, 2011 - Area cyclists, walkers and joggers have a new trail to enjoy with the opening of the newly extended MetroBikeLink Trail that connects the Swansea MetroLink Station to Belleville's North End Park.

The bike and walking trail, which generally parallels the MetroLink alignment, will now allow a 4.7 mile ride between Southwestern Illinois College and the Swansea MetroLink Station.

The new segment features a new 240 foot bridge which spans Richland Creek and the Norfolk Southern Railroad. A second bridge also carries the trail over IL Rt. 159. It has decorative features that give the look of a stone arched bridge, along with arched fencing and accent lighting.

"We wanted a signature bridge that will be a continual reminder to area residents that the trail is there," said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. "Hopefully, it will prompt people to think about getting out from behind the wheel, and biking or walking instead, whether as an opportunity for exercise, or the commute from point A to point B."

Cost of the project was a little over $4.6 million dollars. Of that $3.7 million came from Federal TEA-21 funds, $927,000 from the St. Clair County Transit District and $50,000 from the Metro East Parks and Recreation District (MEPRD).

Construction is already underway on the next section of MetroBikeLink which will further extend that trail from the Swansea MetroLink Station to the Memorial Hospital MetroLink Station. That 2.2 mile segment will be built for an estimated cost of $3.3 million and will include a major bridge over Fullerton Road. The Transit District hopes to extend the trail further westward 3.5 miles to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station and eastward 3.5 miles to the Shiloh - Scott MetroLink Station.

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